I agree with everything Chris has to say here. If Afghanistan has any hope of recovering, it’ll have to be via standard of living improvements, and nobody can make a living if we destroy their only cash crop. Especially when we could be buying it to produce legal pain killers.

In other news, it sounds like Saudi Arabia is brokering a peace deal between the Taliban and Afghanistan…

Taliban leaders are holding Saudi-brokered talks with the Afghan government to end the country’s bloody conflict — and are severing their ties with al Qaeda, sources close to the historic discussions have told CNN.

The militia, which has been intensifying its attacks on the U.S.-led coalition that toppled it from power in 2001 for harboring Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network, has been involved four days of talks hosted by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, says the source.

The talks — the first of their kind aimed at resolving the lengthy conflict in Afghanistan — mark a significant move by the Saudi leadership to take a direct role in Afghanistan, hosting delegates who have until recently been their enemies.

They also mark a sidestepping of key “war on terror” ally Pakistan, frequently accused of not doing enough to tackle militants sheltering on its territory, which has previously been a conduit for talks between the Saudis and Afghanistan.

More as it develops…

Politics Hitchens On Afghanistan: Surge Won't Work